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602 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
As I flip through the paper after election season, I noticed that quite a few pages were filled with notices from elected officials, thanking us for our votes. At first I smiled, but then, after a moment’s hesitation, the sentiment in those notes began to wring slightly hollow. Upon showing them to my mother, she felt the same sentiment, but was better able to articulate it: “If they really want to thank us, why don’t they clean up those road signs?”
The signage each election year become more of an increasing problem. Politicians blanket the roads with these banners, sometime stacking dozens of them together at high-traffic areas in the county. Now, while I understand the importance of self-promotion, the problem begins on Election Day. As soon as the polls close, the signs are long since forgotten by the candidates, and their campaigns leave them. The signs then become a nuisance, standing long after officials take office, and only coming down when time and weather finally take a stand.
If those in office truly wanted to “Thank Us,” this should be their first act, cleaning up the signs they’ve peppered across the countryside, and possibly even passing a law encouraging future generations of officials to do the same (nothing extreme, possibly a small fine of $50 for each sign spotted 60 days after Election Day). This would show that they do care about their county, and don’t want it to be polluted with multicolored plastic signs for months after they’ve fulfilled their purpose.